Time is relative, but maybe not yours!

Do you know? Nothing changed last week. All that happened was, this time, time passed us by in the street and we didn’t even recognize it; it wore the same clothes it always wears; it shuffled by us, hands by its side, a second at a time! and more than just a second time. Just like we did what we always do with the insignificant in our lives – we didn’t even notice! Once the second one was past us, we looked up and saw another coming straight at us and it too passed us by; Even as its small hand tapped us on our shoulder we didn’t bother, did we? what’s there to recognise in this insignificant being – We just stamp on it like we do an ant don’t we? unrelenting in our fear and in our hate of its bite. In real time its equivalence is a second!

But then, someone had a birthday, someone had an anniversary, someone fell sick, someone committed a crime, someone was bombed, someone bombed another, someone cried, someone gave birth or was born, someone had an accident, or an elevation, someone had a promotion, someone fell in love, someone got married; that someone was significant, and it rubbed off on time! We timed it, even two timed it on some occasions.

It was the right time to launch a dialogue with the creator – we had found the time, but was it the right time? the auspicious time? Well only time decides that, though we think we do. Is it the right time to ask the question – do we have power of time or does time overpower us?

We presume to decide the right time to launch a dialogue with the creator of time, the one who has power over it, something that we believe we have, but do not? All we do is watch it – literally! At best, we keep track of it as it moves along, because it suits us to do so. We can’t halt its journey, with an offer of rest at any point. If we do, we might be slapped by its second hand, much like Will Smith did Chris Rock at the Oscars yesterday! Will come back to that after some time.

If we paid attention, we would notice, that this time, it did not change its clothes, or wear a designer suit or pass us by in a Mercedes Maybach; yet we noticed, we noted, we bowed our head, we fretted that it is passing us by, and we scrambled to keep up with it, sometimes not sleeping even, upending our internal clock, which is more dependable, than the fit bit we wear these days. Its fits us to the bit, but what keeps us fit is not it, but our internal shit! Don’t believe me? Wear it and sit and you’ll see. You’ll never ever be Brad Pitt!

At this point of time, I want to make a point. It is in the now, when things go awry, when we feel sorry, that we look up to it, around for it. “Where is my watch? I left it on the shelf – I had hoped to give it a rest! “

It is this moment in time that time was waiting for; it’s the moment that it finds us insignificant just as we did, it, last week. It don’t wait for nobody. It has no empathy, no sympathy. Just a typical Pati waiting and whetting for his Chapati. This, my dad told me at that point of time, when time, for me, was insignificant, and I just ignored it. And then me mum pitched in – “tomorrow never comes”, she said. This is the context of my procrastination on their expectations. Spouses time their entry into this dialogue very well.

There’s no if, even if Ronan Keating just added an ‘if’ to that famous line and sang, “If tomorrow never comes, Will she know how much I loved her?” It is then we rue the moment – the one that momentarily we didn’t notice, and now we do. We then try to play catch up and can’t.

Time is famous for what it does. It creates history with each moment, history that repeats every which way; because we live in a different time, we believe that the past is behind us! What we perhaps don’t realise is that what is behind us is what drives us forward! Take any event of the current era and look back – read the TIME Magazine and you will find a resemblance. Yes, time is so famous that it has a whole magazine named after it. It records Time like no other magazine does, so much so when it names a person, he is on time forever, and even above it!

Time may not mean much to us until we realise, we are running behind it in a never-ending race, and sometimes not even then. Just attend a public function,  as a guest, and watch out for the Chief Guest and you will quickly but surely realize the difference of being on TIME and being on time!

When time and action are well coordinated, it’s called timing. It’s the sweetest space to be in for those without diabetes. “Was that an election speech or speech in ordinary time? If any speech is given during election, then it’s a different thing. If you’re giving a speech in the ordinary course, then it is instigating something,” said the judge, according to the Indian Express at a hearing on a first information report (FIR) for alleged hate speeches ahead of the February 2020 riots, adding, “If you’re saying something with a smile then there is no criminality, if you’re saying something offensively, then criminality.” Timing is of the essence we are told both in Cricket and Judicial Commentary!

Said a witness in a murder case, “But Sir, he was smiling when he plunged the knife into her! He obviously meant it as a joke. She too died smiling! She is still smiling” and another in a sexual assault case, he was smiling when he touched her, and there was no skin-to-skin contact!”

And then in contrast, there was that ill-timed slap – a slap without the hint of a smile when Oscar Winning actor Will Smith, climbed up on stage and gave a resounding slap to the host of the show Chris Rock over a joke he made about wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.

Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss, and had a closely cropped head at Sunday’s ceremony. The 94th Academy Awards was in its final hour when actor and comedian Rock quipped that Pinkett Smith appeared ready to star in “G.I. Jane 2” — a putative sequel to a film about a female soldier who has a shaved head.

Everybody was smiling except Will Smith. This happens too. And when you are not smiling – it is a crime remember? Will Smith take it lightly? Did he? No. But then he apologised even as the as the body that oversees the awards said it was launching a formal review of the incident. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line, and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be,” the “King Richard” star wrote on Instagram. “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behaviour at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” Smith said. If only Putin can bring himself to repeat these lines! But then he is not an actor. He acts; without a smile – so it is indeed a crime.

“Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” said Will Smith! If he had reacted with a smile, things might have been different! But timing of the smile was the key!

Likewise, the time, and timing of our birth is of immense importance, much like Rohit Sharma’s cover drive in a closely fought IPL match. It controls our lives, yet we have no control over it – else, maybe we could have controlled our life? Control over birth time is impossible, and patently different from birth control. But here too, timing is everything! And two-timing is a big no-no!

Time is relative, but maybe not yours. All you have to do is relate to it!. Time will stop in its tracks, and you will stop tracking time!


This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Image by Michal Jarmoluk

The file that’ll make you run a mile!  

Within 12 hours of being aired, a video made by Film Maker Vinod Khapri became the new must open and view File! And believe me it’s not even about those topics and plots we love – genocide, infanticide, pesticide, regicide or even fratricide, now a more common incidence than genocide, but about how you must decide what you want to do with your life! It’s the Noida File!

The video is about a young man from Noida, Uttar Pradesh, Pradeep Mehra, who works as an employee at a McDonald’s outlet. Khapri drives alongside as the 19-year-old runs home – a 10 km run – at midnight after his shift at a McDonalds outlet.  He refuses a lift… and dinner offered by the filmmaker for a reason that sets the video and viewers alight. “If you hear the reason, you will fall in love with this kid,” Khapri tweeted while sharing a video of the interaction on Twitter.  indeed you will fall in love!

It’s a must watch, and that is why so many must have watched it! Indeed, without fanfare, pre-release despair, or post release in-your-face, shove and push by celebrities et al, the video, in the first 12 hours after its release, garnered over 3.8 million views, crossed 153,000 likes, and began trending on Twitter. The eyeballs continue to swell!

Ophthalmologically though, there is no cause for concern, because it a sight for sore eyes caused by other files on the front burner! Physiologically and emotionally its impact is all positive. With or without the virus in its DNA, it is now viral.  In fact, all other files have reason to feel jealous – after all they literally had to call upon people to open them even giving bureaucrats an afternoon off to do so! Bureaucrats are, is well known, averse to opening files. Wonder if that amounts to conversion by fraudulent means!

The Noida file left all other files behind in the number of times it was opened, viewed and approved, including those that sit on the desks of the nearly 2.8 crore central and state government employees – Of course not all of them have files on their desks, some just push it quickly to the next desk in line – the files will still have miles to go though, before they can reach the crest and see the light of day, if that is still an option by then, given how our climate is changing!

Files generally have a lot in common with their custodians – they gather dust and develop piles both literally and figuratively speaking, until someone gets a reason to disfigure the pile, pick one, open it and celebrate what’s in it – like a file clearance drive (imagine that- it’s a phrase used by retail garment shop for garments that nobody touches, nobody wants to, until the clearance drive), an approaching election, a  court mandated or  Naxal induced vaccination, or a simple infusion of Saccharin, a common sweetener!

But not this file – The Noida file is a must watch (Watch it here ) and that is why a multitude must have watched it. I see a couple of reasons for this – for one, it is about the ordinary who does the extraordinary – focussing on a future goal while not despising his  present circumstances (Circumstances he has in common with three fourth of our population), compassion for other human beings (that is drowning quickly in a hate quicksand), and second and most importantly not taking things for granted (but consistently and continuously working towards his goal), nor taking the easy way out when such an opportunity presented itself (like we do with our fitness and new year resolutions!). Pradeep Mehra’s simplicity, humility, sincerity, and his dedication to his goal will give you goose bumps and if it can bump you in the same direction, it will have achieved its purpose.

I don’t want to play a plot spoiler but the gist of it is that Pradeep runs home every night after his shift to practice for selection into the army. He refuses a dinner offer, because he has to cook for his brother who has to go to work.  He refuses a lift, because that would mean skipping his training which might have a negative impact on achievement of his goal.  Certainly, worthy of a Padma Award for thought process alone.

Other young men, other old men too, like you and me, would have done exactly the opposite of what he had done – grabbed the offer for a ride and dinner with a famous filmmaker and posted it on social media! Can always take up the baton another day, can’t we?

Some files, but not this one, prompt calls for personal security to be provided to those who write them. Of course, it’s always the truth about lies. Then Y security you may ask. Because it is necessary – when you cause fear, you fear – old phantom saying!

Imagine the secrets in the Piles of Files lying on desks all around the country. What if they were to whisper to each other? it would sound like a loud roar; and the competent authority, incompetent until now, would wake up and either promote it, or ban it – the naughty file that started it all!  It can be sent up for approval of the competent authority (a favourite phrase among bureaucrats) on a as is or nowhere is basis, or it can be modified to suit the view of the pyramid, which, more often than not, is the need of the hour.  Alternatively, it can pile on the truth in a way only a file with a long history and a lot of pages can, not one that is canned within the hour!

What the Noida file has taught us is that when we open a file, the contents can surprise us, energize us, and enterprise us unlike some that will tell us to despise us.

So, this has been an enjoyable and educative tale of two files – one that makes you sit until you get piles, and another that makes you want to run a mile. Choose with guile!


This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Laughter is the best medicine for all ailments except death!

When you negotiate a cease fire with your back to a wall, and literally no gap between your back and the wall, it’s because you have concluded that nobody has your back, no matter what they say in front of you!  You realise quickly that you must kow-tow to whoever is sitting or standing in front and his / her demands. Of course, as the popular saying in Kannada goes – those who bend are entitled to an additional blow!

The choice is between a backstabbing disc compression and a Chest Press while exercising with weights. It will be a weight of your chest, while you wait with compressed breath for your back to straighten and regain your posture before you will be able to posture again.

These thoughts came to me as I read this buried (just buried – not dead and buried as the saying goes) paragraph in a news item on the Ukraine Situation as described by a Ukrainian Envoy, and not a status update from the Russian Situation room with its long table and socially distanced war council discussing bombs, bullets, and Western BS! (read that as Bluster and Sanctions, not what you thought you read, though it might as well be), that is, if you’ve been following the news from more than your local sources!

The intensity of the Chest and Back Press can be deduced from the headline of the article in which I found this paragraph: “35 killed as Russia rains fire on Ukraine military base, hint of resolution in the air | Top points”

Let me quote from the buried paragraph:


Despite the violence, both sides gave their most upbeat assessment yet of the prospects for progress at bilateral talks that have been held periodically since Russia the start of the invasion, although they gave no details of what might be agreed.

“Russia is already beginning to talk constructively,” Ukrainian negotiator and presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said in a video posted online. “I think that we will achieve some results literally in a matter of days.”

When Russia begins to talk constructively, the prices of steel and cement are likely to go up like oil already has, as it could possibly be the beginning of another Berlin Wall but more to the east! It was the fermentation in the Y*east that prompted the Wall estimation after all!

The real tragedy of war is not just the costs of war – lives, prices, availability, fear, anger, mayhem, personal and professional growth, economies, and political dialogue – or the accessibility of McDonalds and Christian Dior in Moscow, but the death of laughter. Literally the laugh has been gouged out of the belly and you can only hear it rumble! Grumble too because there is no food to eat! McDonalds has shut shop!

The man who won the presidential race on the back of his satirical take of the presidency itself, who helped a nation laugh at its foibles, and sweep a serious situation (and a president) under the carpet – that’s called a scurryfunge by the way – (he has already re-emerged), has now little time to engage in or help others laugh at their own lives because those lives themselves are at stake or already tied to one ready to be burnt, including his own! It’s gotten too serious, because on the other side, its a Grimm in charge! And that is the tragedy of polities and politics. When the Grimms take charge, you get a scary, not a fairy tale!

Luckily for us one of our own is following this blazing (figuratively 92 seats) trail in one of our major states. That is something that may bring a smile to the residents faces, and hopefully a belly full of laughter (and food) in the course of time. Certainly, we hope it will have a positive impact on India’s ranking in the Happiness index which has deteriorated over the years – Starting with rank 111 in 2013, it has consistently been going down and was a dismal 139 in the 2021 report – a dip of 25%!  Its time to stop reading Grimms Fairy / Scary tales, lest they come true.

We have a chance to do that, but we as a nation have a very poor sense of humour – that is why most people ignore my column! and Satirists are trolled, while those they caricature, are extolled! if there is humour to be found, anger is not far behind. They are first cousins; surname? Sentiment! Most of us don’t look at humour or satire as ointment for a burn wound, but Vinegar in Gajjar ka Halwa.

I was just reading a very interesting article on BBC.com on how laughter CAN make us a better polity and improve our politics – as of now, the joke is on us. It quotes a policemen-comedian – policeman by day – (now ex) and that’s a damn serious job – and comedian by night Alfie Moore. He uses his experience of how the police operate to poke fun and expose polices that seem logical only to those who make them!

So how does it change things? Well, he says people watch his shows with pre-ordained notions of what policing is all about and leave with a new perspective – “One phrase I heard recently was, ‘If they’re laughing, they’re listening’, and I think that’s a powerful quote. “Nobody ever listened to me when I was in the police. I had no influence. I’d never met senior officers and I’d never met my chief constable. Now I’ve been out of the police, lots of people listen to me. The Radio 4 show got 1.4 million listeners per episode. I had chief constables emailing me.”

So that’s how. That’s how the President of Ukraine became the President of Ukraine and that’s how we have a chief minister who we expect will change our perspective of politics – from the grim to the whim!

There is science behind the meme, behind the Stand-up Comedy, that at least some of watch and enjoy, not to prosecute, persecute or troll, as the Grimms do, but to enjoy, relax and extol, which irks them more!

The BBC Article I am quoting time and again – forgive me for that or laugh at me if it makes you happy (at least happier than you were before!) – says there is a science to it. It quotes Scott Weems, a cognitive neuroscientist and author as saying, “My first thought when I think about humour is it’s a great way for us to have evolved so we don’t have to hit each other with sticks,”, for that is what we do when we are grim, is it not? When we prefer anger to laughter, when we prefer praise to criticism, when we prefer stubbornness to correction and when we prefer hate to love? When our preferences matter more than those of others and is no laughing matter when they take precedence?

Humour has a social function, and now a political function too. It can reform and reframe society and social justice, it can break taboos, give a reality check to people in power, and relieve us of the stress of daily life under the Grimms! Josie Long, British Comedian says “Politics can leave you beleaguered, plagued, miserable. It’s that maxim where they say, ‘Satire is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted’.”  But will the Grimms allow you that leeway? Doesn’t seem like it! Now, I can see them smile!

Humour – it’s just beginning to work in India, and we must not laugh off this beginning! Seriously! Not if we want to move up on the Happiness Index. What’s our preference? dynasty or die nasty? Either way we must find a way to laugh it off, or we die early! Laughter is indeed the best medicine – for all ailments except death!


This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

We-men will always be grateful for Wo-men

For we men, today, and every day is international women’s day – We love them for they bring to the table – the food and so much more than food! We are grateful to them for our life itself – for without them we wouldn’t exist would we? The hand that rocks the cradle and swirls the ladle, has an advantage over those who don’t though that that trend is reversing these days, as men try to keep ahead in the game of gender thrones.

But Today is International Women’s Day.  The theme? Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.  They are the ones who sustained us for so long – even when men felt they were superior, they don’t feel so superior today though – and now again it’s their turn to create a sustainable tomorrow – for us!  Is that Equality? Or Equity?

International Women’s day is a time to celebrate women for their foresight, hindsight, and all round in-sight. Even those who are sight challenged congenitally or because of misfortune, must be celebrated, because they can take in the sights through their other senses in that much greater measure. You must experience it to understand it … and sustain through it. You will, because this year’s them is the creation of a sustainable tomorrow! They will help you sustain.

Women lift your spirits – they disagree, sometimes violently when you imbibe them, and deny them, but are there by your side to infuse you with them  when you are down and out – they know when you are down and they know how to lift you up – with a smile, a hug, a kind word and just being there for you, catering to your every need – until they notice you are beginning to take advantage of them! Then you will be definitely at a disadvantage!

Women are selfless if they are in love with someone else other themselves which more often than not, they are. They are prone to do things for those they love, even for society at large, without expecting anything in return – for instance – a very light modern instance, but you’ll get the message – they would go out and buy you your favourite T shirt on your birthday, and won’t mind if you do the same – buy another of your favourite t shirts on her birthday and wear it for her at her birthday bash! But  if self-love explodes, they do a lot for themselves and don’t expect too much in return! But then it’s time to give them space, even your space. It’s the best time to go for a sojourn at the international space station!

Most women are naturally empowered with strengths they haven’t yet tested and we must be grateful for that, because I think that is what men are really scared of – their natural power, both in word and deed, the reserves of which they tap when they need to and when you don’t need them to. They manage our homes, our economies, the biggest corporates, and even nations. The beauty is not in their images, but in the fact, that when they get home from whatever they are doing outside it, you will find, as will the cardiologist, that home is where their heart is… Indeed it is a medical mystery how their heart swells with pride when they think about their families and yet remain healthy!

Not all of them are fortunate enough to be able to explore the full range  of their natural empowerment and potential, and that is where other women and men come in – some try to help in whatever way they can, some don’t. Mostly those who don’t are the men who provide lip service to this cause, because they believe, that a sweet tooth and sweet talk are the same thing – like capsicums stuffed with karela!

Women inspire us to perspire for them, and for ourselves. Be it our mothers, wives, partners, sisters or whoever. Don’t they? Do it for me they say, and you will go to Mars (and come back, not stay there) for them. They know what makes your clock tick, how, don’t ask me – tis a secret that even sages have not discovered, and they wind you up accordingly. That’s a good thing, for without them we would be stuck at midnight – neither in the yesterday nor the morrow! They encourage you to be better than yesterday – you might get irritated with that constant reminder – that you can do better – but you better do it! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – heard that one haven’t you ? But haven’t heard from her yet? If you do, you may need a friend, a counselor, and who better than a woman – maybe another one? For who understands you better than they do?

Women are hardworking and when they are hard at work, it’s best not to disturb them, even to ask if you can be of assistance – you have to demonstrate that they can rely on you first, else its best to admire from afar. No doubt you may have to listen to the refrain – All you do is sit around and watch… but it’s better to be safe than sorry? Also, you may mess up all the good work. But not only are they hard working, they are good fun to be with – they complement, they augment – they also comment, but that’s ok I guess in the overall schema of the Almighty!

Its not just hard work that they put in (and this has nothing to do with Ukraine); they believe in smart work. They manage their work life balance and multi task so well, just as they do when they make 3 sumptuous dishes within the hour. We men are smart (if you read it as one word, you are smart) , but as Harry Belafonte sang, Men Smart, Women smarter! And through it all, they seem dependent, but in reality are actually dependable. Give them a task and it will be done. Give them a secret, and it will remain a secret. That is their secret!

I’m sure you have heard of reinforced concrete. The one with the steel rods inside? Well, there is a human version too. Soft and gentle on the outside and strong inside! They may cry, but can also make you cry. When need be, they are a wall that can stall, play and carry the ball, and enjoy immensely at the mall. They love the colours, add colour to life, and can paint a rainbow in the rain! They are like the eggs they produce to give us the life we think we don’t owe them. In hot water, they become hard, and still a delight!.

Women make us proud of them, and vicariously of ourselves. They give us life and shape who we are as people. They bless us and are our blessings in more ways than I’ve mentioned above; to each his own blessing. Now that I’ve finished this piece on Women, I’m at peace and after such hard work on women, it’s time to relax and celebrate. Don’t you think? Or could I have done better? I’m sure I’ll hear from the women soon!


This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.